By ELLIOT MATHYE
Banyana Banyana’s chance to proceed to the semi finals of the 7th CAF African Women Championship is hanging in the balance after the Augustine “Mthakathi” Makalakalane’s charges narrowly lost 2-1 to Africa’s powerhouse Nigeria.
Banyana went into this match at the almost packed Sinaba Stadium in Daveyton near Benoni highly motivated after winning their Group A’s opening match, 2-1 over Tanzania, but their hopes were dashed away after Nigeria’s Pepertua Nkwocha having ochestrated their downfal
With the dangled trip to Germany in a form of the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup dangled in front of all the eight participating in this tournamen, the Banyana-Nigeria match started on a high note with both side searching for an early lead and as expected the Super falcons who are still to lose a match against Banyana managed to see the back of the net when Nkwocha slotted home in the 20th minute. This after the free-scoring star had slipped away from the home side’s defenders, showing them a clean pair of boots before she could beat the goalkeeper as she scored her fifth goal in this tournament.
Nkwocha who is regarded as one for the veteran midfielders and already a strong contender for the Player of the Tournament award went on to silenced Banyana’ strong supporters when she braced herself in the 39th minute, however the Nigerians’ joy was short-lived as the home side pulled one back three minutes later via defender, Janine van Wyk through a free kick.
Nigeria are topping the Group A log with six points and they are the highest scoring side with eight goals.
The SA team (2nd position with three points) should pray that both Mali and Tanzania play to a draw while they beat Mali in their last group match so that they could proceed to the semi final match.